Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The month of Audrey

The month of December was an Audrey-filled one – with 4 amazing showers, Christmas and 3 birth/baby classes – it was impossible to forget that Audrey will be making her debut in 5ish weeks.

My first shower was for family and family friends. (I haven't received photos from this shower yet though).

My good friends Kelley and Sara hosted my second shower.

During the shower we got crafty and made onsies. It was so much fun seeing what designs everyone came up with. They even made sure to have houndstooth fabric for me to use.

At my third shower, I had 6 amazing hostesses:

This shower was from my book club friends. The theme was penguin wonderland, which was beyond perfect. There were penguins everywhere (there were even penguin jello shots that others were enjoying), but I especially loved the cake:

So clearly with all these showers...and Christmas, Audrey got beyond spoiled. H
I'm still in a state of shock that realistically, Audrey could say hello anytime now.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas cheer

I have a confession, while my house is decorated for the holidays – I'm just not feeling it. I have been distracted by a December full of baby showers, thank you cards, baby classes and nursery preparations. And I'm so ready for Audrey to get here that I'm having trouble focusing on anything else.

Originally, I thought I would go all out this year for Christmas, because it's Brent's and my last year as just the two of us. But, it's just not happening. While all the decor is out, third trimester exhaustion has set in, and some nights I don't even have the energy to turn on the penguin tree lights (I know! I must be tired to ignore something so fabulous). Well, mainly it's because bending down has gotten rather tricky. Thankfully, Brent is still bendy, so he's taken over the light duty.'s the part you care about – the decor.

The sweet tree

The family tree

I'll be especially excited about the family tree next Christmas when Audrey is here. I'm even toying with the idea of doing silhouettes of all the family instead of photos.

The penguin tree

My favorite new penguin ornament:

The formal tree

The classic tree

Other holiday photos from around the house...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fabric is cool

Now that the crib is in and assembled (!!!), I decided it was time to quite dragging my feet about picking my fabrics for the crib skirt and curtain panels.

I ordered 10 different fabric samples, and Brent and I quickly narrowed it down to the 2 winners.

The crib skirt (Dwell Studio Dotscape Jet):

The curtain panels (Waverly Scribble Meadow):

Brent and I both fell in love with this fabric right away, and were extremely happy it was the correct shade of green once the sample arrived.

Me: It's just so great. It's modern yet playful at the same time. I just love it.

Brent: I wouldn't describe it that way, but I love it too.

Me: How would you describe it?

Brent: It's cool.


I ordered everything yesterday, so now I get to impatiently wait for them to be shipped, delivered and made.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I heart Black Friday

I know a lot of people don't get Black Friday, but I'm not one of those people.

I am obsessed with getting the best bargain possible, so naturally Black Friday and I have a very strong courtship. I've had my tentative Black Friday list since finding out I was pregnant, and I've been saving ever since, because I knew this year we'd be buying a lot of stuff.

Thanksgiving night, Brent and I went to Michaels, because they were offering 30% off your total purchase. I want to paint something above the dresser in the nursery – and I scored my $60 canvas for $20. I also bought all my paints and brushes. Then we bought all the supplies for 4 Christmas presents. (Brent's side has 4 elementary-aged girls who love to craft. So, I bought 4 bead organizer containers (all 75% off), and filled it with tons of crafting goodies – sequins, buttons, stickers, foam shapes, wood cutout outs, thread, etc.). We were in and out in 20 minutes, and saved about $125.

Later that night, my affair with Amazon and their amazing deals started.

My biggest deal/excitement was my camera. I finally acquired a Canon EOS Rebel T3. Amazon matched Sears' deal by packaging it with a telephoto lens for the same price. (But we shipped everything to one of Brent's friends in Missouri, so my deal was tax-free).

Brent's Christmas present this year is another Blu-ray player. He loves the one we got last Black Friday, so we just bought the newer version of this model. The new one will go in the man cave, and the older model will go in the family room.

For the past several years, I've bought the Christmas present that my grandparents give us. This year, we decided to go practical and upgrade our toaster to a 4-slicer. I actually bought this toaster as a wedding present for my cousin this fall and kind of feel in love with it.

I just couldn't say no to this – $70 for all 8 Harry Potter movies on Blu-ray? Ummm...yes, please. I'm excited to make Brent watch them with me. :)
I also acquired a few more DVDs as stocking stuffers and gifts for my brother.

Brent actually braved the crowds alone this year and went to Nebraska Furniture Mart. He's been wanting a new laptop for awhile, and his basically died this week...and the one he's been eying was $200 off.

Yep, it was definitely a successful day. Brent's been making me jealous playing with his new toy. I won't get my camera until Wednesday, so I am on countdown.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The "slide in" shelf

The one thing I hated about the nursery was the attic access (aka: cabinet door) on the wall.

I mean, how is this not noticeable:

So, I started debating my options, because, well, this was just not acceptable. I toyed with the idea of a large picture or other ways to hide it. Then one day I realized I was going about it the wrong way – don't hide it, embrace it. And that's where the concept of my "slide-in" shelf came from.

While we currently don't use our attic, we didn't want to block off access to it. So I came up with the concept of a built-in looking shelf that could slide out when necessary, and then put Brent to work.

The first order of business was to go through the cabinet, which was super exciting because I found my houndstooth stencil (so I can finally repair the hole).

Then we cleared it out:

Now it was time for measurements. We still managed to have scraps leftover from the man cave built-ins, so this was another free project. Brent didn't want to deal with the angle at the top – so we put a permit board there, and had the shelving unit below that.

Once it was built, the painting began:

The end result:

I am so happy with how it turned out!

I grew up in a 1920s cape code. There was detail everywhere and built-ins in every room. While this no nowhere close to that 1920s craftmanship, it does remind me of the house I grew up in and that makes me smile.

From eyesore to wow feature:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A weekend of purging

Spring cleaning is apparently happening a tad late in the Miller house this year. No closet is currently safe. I think the realization that we'll soon be acquiring a bunch of baby stuff is fueling this task.

While on this mission, I realized I have never gone through Macintosh and Chip's toys. Ummm...holy geez. Let's just say they are a tad spoiled.

Chip showing off part of his stash:
The donation pile for the local no-kill animal shelter:

The donation pile is about 40% of the toy collection. I don't think I realized how out of control it was. Before Chip was rescued, he never had toys – so I know the craziness started when we adopted him. Toys became a part of birthdays, holidays, when Brent and I traveled and also just because.

I think it's safe to say Macintosh and Chip will be getting treats in their stockings this year.

Closet preparations

I bought goodies for Audrey's closet...several weeks ago (yes, I know I currently suck at this thing called blogging).

The closet dividers are from Amazon. And the storage stuff is actually from JoAnns. I feel like I hit the jackpot with it. This collection was in the office section and was 50% off. So, I scored 3 large baskets, 1 small basket, 2 "photo" boxes, a stack of 3 circular containers, a white organizer, and a backdoor organizer for $80.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ut Oh

Going to Web sites such as Macys and then doing a search for "penguins" is a bad idea.

Jonathan Adler has a penguin ornament out. $28 is a lot to spend on an ornament, but I might not be able to help myself. This little guy is adorable, and would make a perfect addition to my penguin tree.

I've got to stop

I've got to stop buying things (mainly clothes) for Audrey. My baby showers aren't until December, and yet she already reaching what could be considered a full closet.

So, last weekend's shopping spree with my mom and god-mother was it. I am on break until after December 18th. It's going to be tough, but I have to do it.

But for now, here's what I bought at Crazy 8:

Penguin Bodysuit:

Penguin Sweater Hat:

Poodle Fleece Sleeper:

I would like to say this is all I purchased, but I also acquired a pink penguin hat at Macys. Let's not worry though, all 3 of the penguin hats I now have for Audrey are in different sizes.

And my order from Totsy's blowout sale last month may have come in.

And my mom may have bought some things as well (a sleeper and fleece coat). And...maybe a penguin pillow pet that I'll be receiving at Christmas.

Yep, I'm officially on break.

Monday, November 7, 2011

What I Bought...

I just couldn't help myself. I'm powerless toward penguins.

At first I was going to buy the entire set of the 3 winter sport penguins, but the ice skating penguin looked way too one-legged in person.

I also decided to take a huge step and buy my first Thanksgiving/Fall decoration ever. This is a huge step for me. Luckily, it was only $3.95, so it was easy to take the plunge.

In pregnancy news, I have my 1-hour glucose screening today. And tomorrow I start my 3rd trimester. I can't believe how quickly time is flying by.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The master closet

While I'm a judgmental snob when it comes to those in "new construction houses," there is one aspect of new houses that I'm insanely jealous of – the master bedroom closets. I wish Brent and I had any form of a walk-in closet in our bedroom. Instead, we have this:

Yep, that's all the clothing space we have.

To make due, I also took over the closet in the second guest bedroom.

But, since that's Audrey's future room – something had to be done. So we cleared out our closet and got to work.

Brent had tons of board leftover from the built-ins in the man cave, so I figured why not get creative. We divided our closet in half, and each drew out a game plan of what type of storage we needed. Brent wanted a special section for his suites and some shoe storage, but maintaining room for other clothes was important to him. I went the opposite route and actually cut the clothing part of my closet in half. This way I had plenty of room for shoes, purses and other things. While it will definitely be different switching out close each season, that's what worked best for me.

Brent and had shelves built and installed in no time.

Then we got to buy/paint one of the few items we needed for this project – edging.

Much better.

The best part – my things now fit in this closet. Yay!

Sure it's not a walk-in closet, but I will survive. And now this means Audrey's closet is ready to be started.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Argyle accomplished!

It's done! The argyle wall is done!

Honestly, I'm still in a state of shock that I was able to finish it as quickly as I did. I started painting that wall white 3 weeks ago, and from there just worked on the wall off and on. Totally worth it:

Sorry, for the darkish photo. I finished all the touch-ups late last night – so this room was kind of on the dark side. I plan on taking new photos, once phase 2 of the wall is complete (but more on that later).

Here's how we made argyle happen.

1. Paint your wall your base color – this would be the color used the most. For the sack of your sanity, also have this color be the lightest color you're using.

2. Figure out how many diamonds you want (I wanted mine big, so I picked 5x8) and then make a grid. This goes super fast if you have one of those long levels. Brent measured/drew everything out in 5 minutes.

3. Now it's time to make some diamonds! Brent measured the size of one of the rectangles, and then divided the width and height in half. With those measurements he made a "mini rectangle template" on a sheet of computer paper, which was the fourth of the size of the ones on the wall. With that template, he was able to mark the halfway point in each rectangle (aka: where the diamond points go).

4. Start taping for color #2 (color #1 is your base color).

5. Paint color #2.

6. Peel tape and start taping for color #3.

7. Paint color #3.

8. Now it's time for some dashed line "fun." This was the part of the project I was dreading, but Brent and I found a way to cheat the system and make this task go by fast. Brent and I had some 6-foot edging for our closet project that was .75" in width. So, using the pencil intersections in the white diamonds as our guides – Brent held the piece of wood to the wall, while I taped everything off. For the length or each dashed line, I actually just used the length of a paint chip, that way I wouldn't have to measure anything.

9. Do touch-ups and then you're done!

I'm so happy with how it turned out. I'm especially happy that it's done, and I can move on to other projects like the nursery closet and turning the "door" on the argyle wall into a feature instead of an eyesore.